Thursday, January 7, 2016



I'm not sure who convinced women that chocolate is sexy, but I, on behalf of all men, thank him.  Now if you want to convince the male partner that food is sexy, just set it on fire.  And if you want to gain the gratitude of all seniors, make it  only take a few minutes. However this approach is tailor made for the younger set.  If microwaves had been around when I was in college, I would have included it on all first dates. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hercule Poirot, Survivalist

The Fleur 75 
Equal parts gin, champagne, & crème de violette 

Tonight I spent a good amount of time indulging some of my favorite Francophile fantasies. I set the stage with one of the most glorious cocktails ever invented, the Fleur 75, a champagne/gin concoction the exact color of Elisabeth Taylor’s eyes, followed by a peasant dish immortalized by Hercule Poirot (yes, I know he was Belgian, but his palate was distinctly French), Lapin a la Moutard, a luxurious, leisurely fricassee of rabbit and mustard. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Rolling Right Along

When I get bored I tend to get creative with my food.  When I was younger, and more energetic, I would debone a whole chicken.  Today I am more efficient and confine myself to a roulade, a piece of meat pounded to a malleable thickness spread with something tasty, and then rolled up into a tidy, tasty package.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chili for Chilly Weather

We’re expecting sub-freezing temperatures tonight and that calls for the essential cold weather meal, classic red chili. Now chili may have its roots in Mexico, but it was only fully realized in Texas, birth place of my father. My mother made typical WASP chili...ground beef, canned kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, and chopped onion, seasoned with salt and pepper. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wienerschnitzel is Country Fried Steak

I am always amused when someone uses a foreign language to disguise a peasant dish, usually so unsuspecting customers can be charged a haute cuisine price.   Growing up I was told that only unfortunate children in Dickens’ novels had to eat mush for dinner.  Now everyone raves about polenta as an elegant side dish.  Corn meal mush by any other name is just as tasty and filling.  

One dish from my children’s German heritage is schnitzel, praised as one of the “Few of My Favorite Things” from the film, A Sound of Music.  As elegant and satisfying as the film, schnitzel, is really just a tarted up version of country fried steak. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Post Mortem

Six of the Thanksgiving dishes at the Wheeler household this year,  Clockwise:  Deviled Eggs, Dad's Cornbread Dressing, Browning Bag Turkey, Sweet Potato Anna with Prunes & Port, Pearl Onion Gratinee, and Cranberry Chutney

Most of the food press spends all of November giving you ideas for the Thanksgiving holiday dinner.  The problem with that is most of the dishes are so complicated and/or expensive most cooks won’t test drive them before the holiday and the dinner guests become lab rats for your culinary experiments.

This year we had no absolute disasters, only a couple of minor disappointments, and we had a few major triumphs. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dieting with Style

Although there was a time when I was slim, since turning 30 I have struggled with my weight, a condition aggravated by the fact that my wife and children effortlessly remain slim.  It’s not that they work at it.  My son ignores his diet altogether, while my wife and daughter feign allegiance to healthy eating while consuming copious amounts of sweets (my wife) and alcohol (my daughter).

I have found a way to diet that suits me.  I eat whatever I want in increments of 200 calories, a tactic that means miniaturizing many of my meals.  Tonight I am going to take some pedestrian items and have a lovely, cheerful, small meal.  The main attraction is a chicken sandwich with lemon dill mustard.  There is no real cooking involving, just some incredibly smart shopping.  Here are the main elements: